Manmaru, Atria has plenty of potential – a modern Japanese restaurant that focuses on top quality fresh ingredients, fused with a touch of Italian flavours. Seafood is air-flown on a bi-weekly basis and the restaurant produces their own udon with zero preservatives, MSG or artificial colouring.
I’ve dined here several times and find the food pretty good, consistent and reasonably priced, plus service is attentive even during peak hours. The menu is extensive so there’s a good variety to choose from – sashimi, robatayaki, salad, sushi, hotpot, fried items as well as a Chef’s Omakase menu (5 course or 7 course).
Manmaru’s wagyu roll (RM68) features tender pieces of wagyu beef cubes, encased in rice ball and topped with a sliver of Japanese wagyu. Large enough to share as a starter, this is not only interesting, but packed with flavour. A bit of wasabi gives it oomph, but it’s good enough on its own.
The Wafu Spaghetti (RM48) features braised pasta with assorted seafood and flower crab – rich in flavour and saucy, just the way I love my noodles. If I can only choose one appetizer at Manmaru, it would be the Salmon Ikura Millefuille (RM45). Tartar of fresh salmon, topped with roe for that burst of umami and served with crispy pita.
The Nigiri Sushi Moriawase (RM80) comprise eight hand-pressed sushis with assorted toppings (depending on the catch of the day) – prawn, fish, sea urchin, foie gras and egg. The foie gras was particularly delicious, as was the sushi with sea urchin.
Alternatively, you can opt for the Chef’s Selection of Sashimi (RM150 for 5 varieties) where the slices are thick and melt in the mouth, especially the salmon and tuna belly. Momotaro Salada (RM18) is a creative play of flavours and textures – Japanese tomato stuffed with crab mayo and crunchy ebiko on a tangy jelly base.
Cream Korokke (RM22) is a sumptuous snack of deep fried seafood cream on a base of tartar sauce and ebiko. While this was tasty, I preferred the boneless chicken karaage (RM18) for obvious reasons. Hotate Chawanmushi (RM30) takes steamed egg custard to a new level – topped with seared scallop, roe and ebiko for plenty of flavour.
The Wagyu Teppanyaki (RM180) is a Manmaru specialty and one that is truly an indulgence. Thick cubes of Japanese wagyu, beautifully marbled and cooked just right, and served with sautéed mushrooms. Do eat this quickly as the beef risks being overcooked when left on the hot stone for too long.
I also checked out the Omakase Menu where a 7-course meal is priced at RM280 (min order 2 pax). Depending on the items available, the chef will prepare a meal that can be tailored to your eating requirements (should you have any). Considering the taste and quality of ingredients used, I find this quite reasonable.
Manmaru serves good cocktails too – my favourite being the Smoke & Plum Galaxy. The combination of whisky, peach monin and dried plum is further accentuated with the smoked woodchip for a deep, fruity finish. Hanakotaba is a ladies’ favourite, with creamy, floral notes, but I liked the Smoke Honey Land better as it was bolder and sharper in finish. Personal preference, really. ;)
The Apple Gravity Beer is a popular cocktail at Manmaru and rightly so. This is easy to drink and very refreshing where the bartender combines beer with apple syrup, lime and mint leaf.
They serve coconut ice cream (RM18) for dessert, but I personally like the tiramisu (RM22) and black sesame ice cream. (RM10) The latter isn’t overly sweet but still retains a creamy consistency while the tiramisu comes topped with cookie crumbs.
On a whole, I find the food at Manmaru pretty decent and prices are reasonable considering the quality. It has become one of my go-to Japanese restaurants when the craving hits.
Food: 7/10 (pork free)
Verdict: Modern Japanese cuisine, cleverly fused with Italian touches.